The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Catherine Ellerton
Contributing Writer 

In the eye of the artist: A moment captured in time


August 1, 2018

Catherine Ellerton

Kerry Kraha discusses one of her creations.

In 2015 Michele Franich and Kerry Kraha launched a dream of a Community Art Show and the first two person show was held. Soon Michelle Tebay was added to the roster which grew rapidly to 30 artists willing to share their view of the world. Today there are 70 artists on the list from the Jefferson Valley area. In the 2018 show, 30 artists were presented in all mediums from watercolors to oils to pastels to bronzes and on. Enthusiastically the originators stated they have been able to add the pro-panels with special thanks to those who donated to the cause and from the many raffles held. As in all community endeavors it is the volunteers that keep them running. In addition to the show during the Frontier Days Celebration, the group also has a Christmas Stroll Show. The local group is "Painters In Potting Shed" or PIPS.

Several sculptures were also on display. There were four small horse heads that were made from polyform, bronze or clay. The history was most interesting. Two were sculpted by Michelle Tebay's grandmother who was born in 1898; one by her mother born in 1927 and then one by Michelle. From this family tradition one was drawn to a magnificent bronze sculpture by Bobbi Kinney of pack horses entitled "As Good As It Gets."

Catherine Ellerton

Michelle Tebay, Kerry Kraha and Michele Franich open the 4th Annual Art Show in Whitehall.

Included among the artists on display were ink art on skulls and bones by Kyra Armstrong; prints by Zach Babat; watercolors by Jean Fastenow where she used a rougher watercolor paper which gives the painting a dimension; interesting Origami by Keiko Nabb; an abstract acrylic 'Snappy Schnauzer' by J. Trask; intriguing quilling items (rolled paper) by Mary Ann Miller; Acrylic collages by Kerry Kraha who used left over paint – tearing it up and gluing it on another canvas in another design; scratchboard creations by Janice Bogy and an intriguing graphite interpretation by Brenda Ault of a Brugel painting.

In addition to being one of the founding artists, Michele Franich is a writer. She joined the Writers of Whitehall in 2015 and the first subject that came to her mind about which to write was a skunk story. This led to her current book on her life on a ranch called "Where the Wild Onions Grew."


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